Bodybuilders often turn to whey protein to help increase muscle mass, but, according to new research it doesn’t have the same effect on muscle mass and strength when untrained young adults consume it.
The study, published in the December issue of the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, had participants ingest either whey protein or a placebo and perform three sets of six to ten repetitions of nine different whole-body exercises four days a week for eight weeks.
Both the protein and the placebo were mixed with water and consumed immediately before the start of exercise and then again immediately after each training set.
Before and after the study, measures were taken for lean-tissue mass, muscle size of the elbow and knee flexors and extensors and ankle dorsiflexors and plantar flexors, and muscle strength (1-repetition-maximum chest press).
Results revealed a significant increase in muscle size of the knee extensors, knee flexors and ankle plantar flexors, and chest-press strength over time, but there was no difference between the placebo or protein groups.
The researchers from the University of Regina concluded that the use of whey protein before the start of exercise and again after each training set has no effect on muscle mass and strength in untrained adults.